An HDR photo and some tips

Here’s another photo from our trip last week to the Circle B Bar Reserve:

Sunrise marsh
Sunrise marsh: Early morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve near Lakeland, Florida

The dynamic range of the light in a scene like this is extreme – a perfect opportunity to try your hand at High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.  I won’t get into the details on how to do HDR.  You can find an excellent tutorial on Trey Ratcliff’s site.  But I wanted to offer a some hints.

  • For sunrise / sunset images such as this, I usually bracket 9 frames at 1 EV apart.  This allows me to capture the very bright sun, details in the sky, and even details in the shadows.  You may want to consider biasing your overall exposure to underexpose slightly since it’s usually the sun’s brightness that is hard to capture.
  • When you process your images, select only the ones you need.  I look at the image and histogram in Lightroom and use that to pick which ones to use.  In this example, I didn’t process the brightest exposures.  The reason for this is that as you use more and more exposures, you increase the chances of introducing noise and ghosting into your final output.
  • If you can afford it, try different software to process your image.  Photoshop, Photomatix, and HDR Efx Pro (and others) all have their strengths and weaknesses and one may work better on any given image than the others.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

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